The credibility of the United Nations is on the line as the international body faces pressure from the Russian Federation to remove the phrase “armed conflict” from a report on children exploited by armies, guerrillas and terrorists. The Russian delegation to the United Nations raised the issue after the United Kingdom succeeded in getting the phrase dropped from the report’s section on Northern Ireland, according to a March 11 Reuters report.
According to the Ulster-based Conflict Archive on the Internet, an average of roughly 100 people have died every year in Northern Ireland for the last thirty-five years in connection with the conflict between Protestant unionists and Irish nationalists. The annual death toll has thus been less than one one-hundredth of one percent of Northern Ireland’s population of about 1.7 million. The scale of the Chechen conflict is manifestly on a different order of magnitude.
Also casting doubt on the UN’s credibility are reports that the Chechnya issue will not even be discussed at the Geneva session of the UN human rights commission that began on March 15. According to Russia’s Itar-Tass news agency, the Russian delegation to the commission has been informed that the agenda does not include Chechnya.